Published Sep 28, 2016The derivative nature of metal's most rhythmic style — known to many as "djent" — is a demanding thing to break free from. The incorporation of cues from outside genres, such as electronic and jazz, have since become widespread, leaving younger bands with the challenge of separating themselves from the groups that have either pioneered these trends or beaten them to death.
With Heliospectrum, Auras don't seem intent on immediately differentiating themselves from the pack. Their use of electronics, notable on opener "Waterstone" and "Eloquence," is more tasteful and reserved than some of their peers, and their emphasis on groove is paramount, with the punishing guitar work of "Stars" and "Spiral" at times broken up with soaring melodic leads and clean vocals. While a definite improvement from their previous work, these stylistic hallmarks can at times cause the record to feel a bit stale.
Some of Heliospectrum's more engaging moments come at the record's close. The racing "Infinite Influence" shines with a number of tempo changes, and is highlighted by Eric Almeida's guttural vocals and a dazzling guest solo from Aaron Marshall of Intervals. "Solar Pulse" is a worthy closer, its crushing grooves revolving around deftly picked clean guitar, including a bass solo to boot.
Heliospectrum is an indication that, in a genre overflowing with imitators, Auras are capable of carving out a place that is firmly their own — or, at least, they stand a much better chance at doing so than their peers. (eOne/Good Fight)